Benjamin Gillikin, one of the most accomplished executives in the fragrance industry, said Monday that he will retire at the end of the year, capping a 38-year career.

Gillikin, 62, will step down as president of the Clarins Fragrance Group, a post he has held for the last two and a half years. Management of the fragrance division will be assumed on Jan. 1 by Jonathan Zrihen, president and chief executive officer of the parent Clarins USA.

Before taking the helm of the fragrance division, Gillikin held a series of positions within Clarins for 12 years, including president of Thierry Mugler Parfums for North America. Working in tandem with Mugler worldwide president Vera Strubi, one of the most influential marketers in world perfumery who also is retiring, Gillikin engineered the successful American launch of Mugler's Angel women's fragrance in 1993.

Angel, which still ranks in the top three fragrances worldwide, became an icon for the smash-hit designer niche scents that dominated the Nineties.

Gillikin later took the helm of the Clarins fragrance division and rebuilt the group's portfolio of scents, including those by Mugler and Azzaro.

"Mr. Gillikin has been a valuable asset to the Clarins Group, and we are sad to lose him," Christian Courtin-Clarins, chairman of the Paris-based parent Groupe Clarins, said in a statement. "His contributions have provided a solid foundation for us to continue to grow the company's successful fragrance business. We wish him bon voyage as he enters this new journey in his life."

Gillikin began his career with Elizabeth Arden in 1968, holding a series of sales and marketing posts in the U.S. and Europe. In 1983, he was named president of Arden's subsidiary for France and the Benelux countries. In 1989, he returned to the U.S., where he served as senior vice president of sales and marketing for the U.S. at Boucheron.

Gillikin said Monday that he views his upcoming retirement as "my second career." In eight years he has not had two weeks of vacation together, Gillikin added, and he is planning a national tour to visit his five grandchildren and five children. In February, he and his wife, Deborah, are planning a vacation in Australia and New Zealand, then it will be a summer of sailing his new boat off eastern Long Island, where the couple has an East Hampton, N.Y., home."That's going to be my passion," Gillikin said.

Asked if he might resume his career at a future date, Gillikin said, "I've worked for 38 years for somebody else. It's been a great ride, but the time is now to do my own thing. I have no idea, but I will not have a job working for someone else — ever again."— Pete Born

Remington Signs Crawford
Remington, the Madison, Wis.-based maker of men's and women's grooming, shaving and hairstyling products, has inked a deal with supermodel Cindy Crawford to act as the company's celebrity spokeswoman.

As part of the three-year, multimillion-dollar contract, Crawford will appear in the company's ads and promotional materials — on TV ads featuring men's shaving and grooming products and in print ads featuring women's personal care appliances.

"We're all familiar with Remington, since it's a great American brand," said the 40-year-old model, who made an appearance at ABC in Times Square on Monday to announce the partnership. "I like brands that are accessible, but really stand for quality, and these products allow me to get the look I want."

Print ads are set to break in December and will promote the company's new Teflon Fiber Ceramic Straightener. In the spring, print ads featuring women's personal care appliances, such as straighteners and curling irons, will break in beauty, fashion and lifestyle magazines. Television ads featuring Crawford and Remington's men's grooming products, such as shavers and razors, will start airing this month.

Remington executives said they hope the partnership will grow the brand's market share among women, in addition to bringing the brand greater credibility.

"Cindy brings trust and a new look to the brand, which is already well-trusted and affordable, and we all know that her hair is a great part of her success," said Dave Lumley, president of Remington. "The women's category of our business is the fastest-growing segment, and we predict that this new partnership will double our growth rate over a two-year period." According to Lumley, Remington is number four in the women's personal care market, and 20 percent of Remington's business comes from the women's category.Glenn Rhodes, senior brand manager of Remington's personal care division, added that research showed consumers quickly associated the brand with men's shaving, but were less familiar with Remington's women's hair care appliances. According to industry sources, Remington generates between $80 million and $90 million in sales, with distribution in Ulta, Bed, Bath and Beyond, Target, Wal-Mart, Walgreen's and CVS. According to Rhodes, the company is also planning to enter the professional salon business in the near future.

Though Crawford is new to repping hair appliances, she's no stranger to the beauty industry. She has worked as a spokeswoman for Revlon and Clairol and even launched her own skin care line, Meaningful Beauty, two years ago. "Styling tools are something I use in my life on a daily basis," said Crawford. "With Remington, you still get great quality products for a good value."— Michelle Edgar

Jo Malone Makes Its Debut in Italy
Executives of the Jo Malone division of the Estée Lauder Cos. hosted a dinner last week at Nhow, the new Milanese luxury hotel designed by Matteo Thun, to present its concept of mixing fragrance for customization and gift-giving. The Lauder-owned British brand is now entering Italy with exclusive distribution in the recently revamped La Rinascente department store. One of the store's new owners, Maurizio Borletti, and its chief executive officer, Vittorio Radice, together with Orna Schezen Nofarber, managing director of the Estée Lauder Cos., Italy; Angela Missoni; Lisina Della Schiava; Karina and Filippo Brignone; Thun; jeweler Maria Cristina Buccellati, and David Au, chief marketing officer of Ermenegildo Zegna, among others, sampled a dinner based on the basic ingredients of the Jo Malone fragrances — lemon, basil, cinnamon, nutmeg and tangerine.

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